Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Man Ray: La Photographie N’est Pas L’art.

La Photographie N’est Pas L’art. 12 Photographs. Photographs by Man Ray. Fotohof Editions, 2009. 64 pp., 12 black & white illustrations, 6½x9¾".

'La Photographie N'est Pas L'art' ('Photography is Not Art') is a book with photographs by avantgarde photographer Man Ray.

It's a "limited edition facsimile reprint of a book that was originally published by Guy Levis-Mano in France in 1937. The book is composed of twelve loose-leaf photographs within a portfolio style slipcase and includes a short, poetic text by the surrealist artist Andre Breton entitled 'convulsionaires'.

The collection is a conceptual work that encapsulates a wide range of subject matter including fashion, nature, architecture and portraiture. Providing a provocative counterpoint to the images are counterintuitive captions that disarm and disorientate the viewer."

The book concerns itself with the question 'Is photography art?' a question ("as examined in the influential Paris magazine L’Art"), which was "hotly controversial during the first half of the 20th century".

Man Ray himself proclaimed "photography is not art" in the "essay re-published here as an impeccable facsimile edition of the 1937 original".

'La Photographie N’est Pas L’art' is an "important conceptual work" for anyone interested in photography and its evolution over the years as a medium and as an art-form, as well as anyone interested in the work of Man Ray.

First quote is from the photo-eye review of 'La Photographie N’est Pas L’art' by John Mathews; the quotations in the fourth paragraph is from the publisher's description; and the quotation in the last paragraph is from the photo-eye review by John Mathews.

No comments: